Traditional Māori design and modern engineering skills have combined to make the Alford Street Bridge a striking feature of Auckland’s Waterview Shared Path, which is being built for Auckland Transport, as part of the NZ Transport Agency’s Waterview Connection.
The shared path is a link in Auckland’s growing, city-wide network of cycle and walking facilities.
The 90 metre long bridge, which crosses Te Auaunga (Oakley Creek) between Great North Road and the Unitec Campus, is located at the Waterview end of the path. Two 16 metre high bridge piers feature spectacular puhoro designs accentuating the flow and movement of the water in the creek running below.
The concept also extends to the balustrades which weave along the side of the bridge, imitating the ripples below. There is also LED lighting in the handrail to illuminate it at night.
“Alford Street Bridge is close to completion and will make a striking addition to Auckland’s walking and cycling network as well as enhancing the local environment as it spans the longest urban stream on the Auckland isthmus,” says Brett Gliddon, the Transport Agency’s Auckland Highways Manager.
“It’s already proving to be a show-stopper with its eye-catching design and colour, drawing plenty of positive attention from local people that pass the area,” says Mr Gliddon.
Other Māori artwork will appear at various locations along the shared path including pou whenua (carved wooden land posts) and kōhatu (carved rocks). Finding the Totara logs for the pou was a challenge and they were eventually sourced from a West Coast swamp. They are being carved by master carvers from several iwi.
The Alford Street Bridge creates a new link between Great North Road and the Unitec Campus. It is the longest of the three bridges being built for Waterview Shared Path, which is being delivered as part of the Waterview Connection project.
At the south end, Soljak Place Bridge, a six metre high and 30 metre long structure, had all its concrete poured recently to continue the solid progress on this area of the shared path. It spans the western railway line to carry cyclists and walkers to New North Road in the south and Trent Street or Harbutt Reserve in the north.
Phyllis to Harbutt Bridge lies at the halfway point of the shared path, where its concrete beams were recently placed to form the bridge deck.
Auckland Transport’s Cycling, Walking and Road Safety Manger, Kathryn King, says the design features of Waterview Shared Path meet public expectations for the Auckland cycleway network.
“The unique design incorporated into the Waterview Shared Path is consistent with the coordinated approach across the network to deliver user-friendly, safe and accessible cycling and walking paths for all Aucklanders.”
Albert-Eden Local Board member Margi Watson is confident the new shared path will become a community icon.
“The Waterview Shared Path provides local people with a high quality connection that the community will enjoy for generations to come.”
The Waterview Shared Path is 2.5 kilometres long and follows Oakley Creek between the Alan Wood Reserve in Mt Albert and Great North Rd in Waterview. Walkers and cyclists of all ages and abilities will easily be able to access the shared path as it includes low hill gradients to assist prams and elderly people to use it.
It will join with other shared paths such as the Northwestern Cycleway in the northern (Waterview) end and the New Lynn to Avondale Shared Path and Southwestern Shared Path alongside State Highway 20
The path will be completed in late winter.